Income at Guide Dogs rose to record levels last year, latest figures show.
The charity’s accounts for 2019 show that overall income was £122.2m, up from £117.7m in the previous year.
The charity said it brought in record levels of income from its sponsor a puppy scheme and cash appeals, with income in this area up by five per cent year on year to £49.1m.
Legacy income also reached a record high of £48.1m, one per cent higher than in 2018.
But community fundraising totals were down by four per cent to £8.2m because of the withdrawal of carrier bag schemes by the retailers Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer.
Expenditure was up almost £7m to £113.4m over the course of the year.
The charity created 685 guide dog partnerships in 2019 and supported people through its My Guide support service on 3,300 occasions, while 158,661 people accessed its advice and information online.
In his foreword to the accounts, Tom Wright, chief executive of the charity, says it faces the “unprecedented challenge of Covid-19” and warns it will deliver significantly fewer services in 2020 than planned.
“However, we are doing all we can to maintain our services while keeping our staff, volunteers, service users and dogs safe,” he writes.
“We are providing our services virtually where face-to-face isn’t possible.
“It is an incredibly tough time and our income will be impacted. However, cost mitigation actions have been taken which will address this and everyone in our Guide Dogs family is pulling together.”